Definition of incarceration
incarceration (plural incarcerations)
- The act of confining, or the state of being confined; imprisonment.
- Formerly, strangulation, as in hernia.
- A constriction of the hernial sac, rendering it irreducible, but not great enough to cause strangulation.
Incarceration is the detention of a person in gaol or prison. People are most commonly incarcerated upon suspicion or conviction of committing a crime. Incarceration rates, when measured by the United Nations, are considered distinct and separate from the imprisonment of political prisoners and others not charged with a specific crime. Historically, the frequency of imprisonment, its duration, and severity have varied considerably. There has also been much debate about the motives for incarceration, its effectiveness and fairness, as well as debate regarding the related questions about the nature and etiology of criminal behavior.
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